Losing Your Period And Your Weight
A common myth about HA is it only happens to college athletes who exercise hours a day, or those who are suffering with eating disorders who are dangerously underweight. But the truth is it can happen to anyone who winds up in an energy imbalance.
Theres no magic numberbe it hours of exercise per week, body fat percentage, or weightthat is known to cause HA. It is completely individual to you and your body.
You dont have to be underweight according to the BMI chart to lose your period, you just need to be under the weight that is right for you. This means even a healthy weight can trigger hypothalamic amenorrhea if it is too low for your body.
In fact, the majority of women I meet who develop HA are very surprised when their period goes missing. They think theyre just being healthy. If this is what happened to you, remember: its never healthy to lose your period. When your period is missing, its a sign that there is some imbalance in your body.
How Long Does It Take To Heal Hypothalamic Amenorrhea
The more hardcore you go in exercising less and eating more, the faster you can expect to get your period back.
In general, the amount of time it takes to heal hypothalamic amenorrhea usually correlates with how long your period has been missing . If your period has been MIA for years, it probably isnt going to come back from just one month of eating more.
If youve been eating more and exercising less for more than 6 months and your period still hasnt come back, the first thing to do is get real with yourself.
- Are you really eating enough, consistently?
- Have you cut back on exercise enough?
- What else in your life could be creating excess stress for your body?
You should also check in with your practitioner again. It may just take longer for you to recover your period. I have heard from women who have required 2+ years of consistently working toward recovery to regain their periodoften by finally doing things they thought theyd never do.
What To Do If You Still Havent Gotten Your Period Back
These are my best general recommendations for how to regain your period after stopping birth control, and Ive used these strategies successfully with many young female clients. Its important to address all these factors, as any one of them can be enough to disrupt menstrual function, which is a sign of suboptimal health.
Of course, sometimes this isnt enough to get you back on track hormonally, especially if you were taking birth control for many years, or if you started birth control as a method to address hormone issues in the first place. In this case, you may need some additional testing done to identify any issues that may be causing your amenorrhea. PCOS is a very common condition that can significantly disrupt your hormonal function, so youll want to discuss this possibility with your endocrinologist.
And of course working with a knowledgable nutritionist can help you identify the missing pieces in your recovery plan to ensure that youre doing everything possible to get back your hormonal health and menstrual function.
Better supplementation. Fewer supplements.
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When You Cant Keep Normal Circadian Rhythms
There is a possibility that your current life circumstances are working against you improving your sleep hygiene. These circumstances are frequently related to work, where you may travel internationally or work the nightshift. These are ultimately things that work against your circadian rhythms because they interfere with the way our brain has been designed to function.
Remember, our brains are designed to shift into sleep when there is no light. Changing the amount of time you are exposed to light, or the lack thereof will shift your bodys response.
While its probably not likely that a loss of a period is caused by poor sleep hygiene alone, if you are looking for ways to improve your cycle or regain it, its important to understand just how closely connected these pathways are in our brains.
If you have a night shift job, or one that makes you travel through multiple time zones, this could be an area of your life hindering you from getting back a regular menstrual cycle.
If you are planning for a family and fertility, your reproductive hormones will function best when youre putting in the best practices for good sleep and a proper circadian rhythm.
And while you may not want to quit your job to fix this issue, its important to do everything you can to optimize your circadian rhythms in all other areas of your life!
Heres a great post by Nom Nom Paleo all about Surviving The Night Shift if you cant control that area of your life.
What To Do If Period Is Late
If the expected date has passed and theres still no sign of your cycle, wait it out for at least 30 days. If you get your period within this time, it was probably due to stress, dietary changes, etc. If you still dont get your period or if you realize its been irregular for a while, consult your doctor.
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Causes Of Prolonged Bleeding In A Single Menstrual Cycle
Prolonged bleeding of a single period is a different issue.
There are multiple possible causes for prolonged bleeding with menses, says Lindsay Appel, MD, an OB-GYN with the Family Childbirth & Childrens Center at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.
Sometimes, hormonal imbalances can cause anovulation which can lead to irregular episodes of bleeding. In addition, thyroid abnormalities can also impact the menstrual cycle.
Structural abnormalities of the uterus and endometrium can also contribute to prolonged bleeding.
These include uterine fibroids, endometrial polyps or endometrial hyperplasia which is an overgrowth of the endometrium and can lead to endometrial cancer.
If you cant tell if youve had a prolonged cycle vs. two back to back periods, make an appointment with your gynecologist.
Dr. Appel addresses a full range of obstetric and gynecologic needs for women. She has participated in several OBGYN research presentations at professional conferences.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. Shes also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.
What Does A Typical Period Look Like
Before we talk about how to get your period back, lets discuss menstruation in general. In the great words of Fraulein Maria, well start at the very beginning. A very good place to start. SCIENCE HOUR. Menstruation is cycle that is usually 28-30 days. During a normal menstrual cycle your hormones are working around the clock. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone is released from the hypothalamus and it works on the pituitary to release follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone . These hormones then act on the ovaries, which produces estrogen and progesterone, which work on the uterus to carry out the menstrual cycle. This process is regulated by something called the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis. At the end cycle, the uterine lining sheds off, leading to menstruation, aka AUNT FLO.
Read Also: Does Birth Control Make Periods Less Painful
When To Call The Doctor:
While irregular periods are a cause for concern, the condition can be managed effectively with proper home remedies. However, it is sometimes necessary to reach out to a healthcare professional if the symptoms become too severe to manage. Call your doctor if you face any of the following acute symptoms of irregular periods:
- You have missed three or more of your periods in the year
- Regular periods increase in frequency and you get your periods more often than the regular 21 days
- Period frequency period is reduced and you get your periods less often than the normal 35 days
- If you experience an unnaturally greater amount of bleeding during your periods
- If the period bleeding persists for longer than seven days
- If your period pain is more intense or lasts longer than what you normally experience
It is essential to know when to see your doctor for irregular periods. If the home remedies are not sufficient to treat the conditions you experience, reach out to a doctor immediately.
Yes, certain exercises can cure irregular periods, it is good for both physical and mental wellness. However, excess working out can lead to muscular wear and tear, bone and joint damage, as well as hormonal imbalance. This, in turn, prompts irregular periods. Women must engage in not more than 2.5 5 hours of moderate intensity exercise every week, to preserve hormonal balance and regulate menstrual cycles.
You Have Uterine Polyps Or Fibroids
Uterine issues like polyps or fibroidsbenign lesions or tumors that can grow in the uterusare very common and may be related to hormonal issues. Uterine polyps can cause bleeding in between periods, says Dr. Dweck, especially if they are touched, like during sex, and fibroids can cause pain, back pain, abdominal bloating, anemia, pain with intercourse, and spontaneous bleeding because theyre not associated with the menstrual cycle, explains Dr. Richardson.
While fibroids can affect women of any age or race, Black women are about three times more likely to develop them compared to white women, and their symptoms tend to emerge at an earlier age with greater severity. Its unclear why exactly Black women are disproportionately impacted by fibroids, but some studies suggest that greater exposure to racial discrimination or genetics could play a role.
As the Black Womens Health Imperative notes, heavy, painful periods may seem like a fact of life since theyre so commonand many women wait years to seek treatment for fibroidsbut you dont have to needlessly suffer.
What to do about it
Head to your ob-gyn for an ultrasound, a uterine biopsy, or a hysteroscopy . Hormonal medications such as progestins and gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists may lessen symptoms of polyps and shrink uterine fibroids.
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How Does Running Affect Your Period
Your body requires a certain amount of caloriesenergyto keep all its basic systems humming along smoothly. Each mile you cover burns a significant amount, so if youre not careful about your fueling, you can easily run a deficit, says Laura Moretti, M.S., R.D., a sports dietitian at Boston Childrens Hospital.
This energy deficiency triggers a cascade of hormonal effects. Your body suppresses the sex hormone estradiol, and with it, the whole line of communication between your brain and reproductive organs that precipitates your period. Your tissues also stop responding to human growth hormone, a compound that makes your muscles and bones stronger. Your thyroid doesnt function as well, slowing your metabolism. Meanwhile, your levels of the stress hormone cortisolwhich can break down musclesoar.
This is basically the bodys way of trying to bring up energy reserves so that the athlete can address the immediate stress, says Adam Tenforde, M.D., director of running medicine at the Spaulding National Running Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. But being in that state for long periods of time can be disruptive to overall health.
Drink Apple Cider Vinegar Daily
Research from 2013 showed that drinking 0.53 oz of apple cider vinegar daily may restore ovulatory menstruation in women with PCOS. More research is needed to validate these results, as this study involved only seven participants.
Apple cider has a bitter taste, which may be difficult for some people to consume. If you want to try taking it but have a hard time with the flavor, you can try diluting it with water and adding a tablespoon of honey.
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Weight Loss During The Luteal Phase
The luteal phase is marked by gradual rises in progesterone and estrogen levels, which dip if the egg isnt fertilized.
These changing hormones create a variety of issues that may make weight loss more difficult.
This may be especially true for those who experience premenstrual syndrome .
Large studies have found that nearly 48% of women experience PMS. Smaller studies suggest that it may be even more common, with some reporting that symptoms affect up to 98% of women .
Symptoms vary but may include fatigue, food cravings, mood disturbances, and fluid retention . Hormone and behavior changes in the days before your period may impact body weight.
Lets look at some of these changes in more detail.
Appetite, Cravings and Emotional Eating
You may feel the urge to eat more during the luteal phase.
Women report greater appetite and eat more calories during this time .
In some women, reductions in a hormone called leptin may be to blame. Leptin is a hormone that reduces hunger. It tends to be higher among women who are overweight, so this doesnt always protect against overeating .
Studies have found that leptin rises throughout the menstrual cycle with the highest levels in the luteal phase. In other words, hunger should be lower during the luteal phase, at least from a hormonal standpoint .
In one study of 259 healthy premenopausal women, cravings for salty foods and sweets were significantly higher in the late luteal phase than in other points of the menstrual cycle .
Why Losing Your Period Matters
When youre of childbearing age, a regular menstrual cycle is one of the most important indicators of your health.
Losing your period is like a big, blaring siren warning you that your body is experiencing an imbalance. Even if right now, the only symptom is your period missing, hypothalamic amenorrhea is a sign that there is a bigger issue going on.
Hormone imbalances, hormonal acne, thyroid and adrenal dysfunction, fatigue, and mood disorders can all come alongside HA.
Even if you dont want to have kids now or ever, your body needs a menstrual cycle to stay healthy. Ovulation is necessary for the production of estrogen. If youre not ovulating, estrogen levels will drop and your risk of osteoporosis and stress fractures increases.
The bottom line is that women of childbearing age need to be ovulating regularly to stay healthy. When your period has gone missing, there is a root cause, and that root cause is likely creating other dysfunction in the body.
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Can You Get Pregnant With Irregular Periods
Yes, its possible to become pregnant with irregular periods. It may be more difficult to track ovulation and identify a missed period, but there are tools and trackers that can help.
If youre concerned your irregular periods may be caused by an underlying issue thats affecting your fertility, talk with your doctor.
Regular Exercise And Yoga
Regular exercise has many benefits, and regularizing periods is one of them. It helps maintain your weight and keep the balance in your hormones. In polycystic ovarian syndrome, a woman may lead to gain unnecessary weight gain that causes hormonal imbalance. Doing regular workouts may solve this problem.
Yoga also has been beneficial to balance your mind and body. It keeps your body and minds calm. Research suggests that yoga helps reduce menstrual pain and emotional symptoms associated with menstruation, such as depression and anxiety, and improves the quality of life in women with primary dysmenorrhea.
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Get Pumped For Papaya
In ayurvedic medicine, its thought that eating unripe papaya might help bring a late period out of hiding, and some alternative medicine practitioners suggest unripe papaya might induce proper menstrual flow.
A study on mice found that papaya appears to have anti-fertility properties and seems to act as an abortifacient, so it could be dangerous for pregnant women.
Papaya has a ton of vitamins and minerals, so if youre not pregnant, feel free to indulge.
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I Lost My Period For 10 Years: How To Get Your Period Back Naturally
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Published on | This post contains affiliate links. Please read my policy page.
Officially 2 years of having a healthy and regular cycle! Today I am sharing my journey of healing and how to get your period back naturally if you have lost it. From eating more food, working out less, supplementation, and educating myself, I discuss the things I have learned along the way and what has helped me.
We are celebrating 2 years since I got my period back and having it ever since! While that might not sound exciting for some, it is a huge milestone in my life after not having a cycle for 10 years. I am so passionate about this subject I wanted to write up a post since I know so many women struggle with it.
If you are not familiar with my history, you can check out my health and fitness journey. That post is a very in-depth look into my diet and lifestyle for the past 10-15 years of my life.
For a shorter version, I did not have a regular period for 10 years I went on birth control in 2006 when I entered college. My cycle was never really regular and that is pretty much the go-to solution from doctors nowadays.
In 2008 I decided to go off birth control as I didnt like how it was making me feel and was getting out of a serious relationship. Over the next 10 years, I struggled with food and fitness. I was very restrictive in my eating and over-exercised. I also lost 20-25 pounds over the next few years.
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